life in the slow lane

I’ve recently discovered the joy of swimming.
 
I used to find it really boring, but somewhere along the line something has changed.
 
Being immersed in the water feels like therapy; it’s as though with every stroke I move further away from distractions and drop into a state of flow.
 
Generally, there are 3 lanes to choose from at the lidos i've been going to; slow, medium and fast.
 
Seeing as ‘somewhere in the middle’ is usually a good plan of action I initially went for the medium lane when it came to deciding where I belonged. 
 
During one of my swims in the medium lane I had other swimmers clipping at my heels. I felt rushed and distracted. I couldn’t drop into my rhythm because I was so aware of what was going on around me.  
 
I looked over at the slow lane populated by over 60’s and wondered whether it was a bit pathetic if I switched.
 
Shouldn’t I be attempting to keep up with the pace of the middle lane? I’m young and fit – I  know I could if I tried.
 
I decided to give the slow lane a go and instantly felt much more at home.
 
No one was expecting me to go fast, I didn’t feel rushed by other people’s busy, I was enjoying myself again.
 
Light bulb moment.
 
This situation was a perfect metaphor for my life.
 
The slow lane appeals to me in swimming and in life but I’d be lying if I didn’t feel a pressure to go faster.
 
One of my friends Adrianna wrote a piece about ‘shoulds’ recently and this reminded me of it.
 
There is a societal pressure to reach certain milestones by certain ages and I think there's also a pressure to keep up the pace and that slowing down should come with age.
 
I’ve been in the fast lane and for me, it’s not sustainable.
 
Living in the slow lane allows me to be creative, conscious and connected. It’s where my best work comes from and where I feel happiest, most present.
 
It may be that you thrive in the fast lane. 

We're all different. 
 
I say we shake off the ‘shoulds’ and pick our lanes based on the kind of experience we want to have and what’s important to us, regardless of what others are doing.  
 
So, i’ll be unapologetically swimming in the slow lane for the foreseeable.